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Geurts, Aron, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Physiology,
Medical College of Wisconsin,
8701 Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226.

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Research Interests:
– manipulation of stem cells
– zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology
– conditional mutagenesis vector system

Continuing research efforts in my laboratory are being driven by my interests in three programmatic areas related to genetic manipulation of stem cells and whole animals for the annotation of gene function, tissue engineering, and cellular therapeutics related to human disease.  The development of rat-specific reagents and culturing methods to reprogram rat fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells now provide a unique foundation to study whether these cells are capable of supporting gene targeting technology by homologous recombination for producing genetically modified rats. These techniques are also directed toward engineering of organ tissues from different rat models for in vitro studies of cellular and tissue function under different genetic and environmental conditions.
We also focus on developing zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology for targeted integration of gene modifications by targeted knockout and homologous recombination (knock in) in rat embryos and stem cells. Site-specific modification of the rat genome using ZFNs to introduce specific gene alleles to correct or modulate gene function will ultimately enhance the development of novel disease models in several research areas within our lab and through collaborations with investigators in the department.
In programmatic area 3, we continue to work toward developing resources that will broadly benefit the rat research community by developing a conditional mutagenesis vector system which capitalizes on our experience working with transposable elements and gene-trapping technology.  This technology is being developed in transgenic rats and in rat stem cells for the production of novel high-value disease models where gene expression can be modulated in different tissues in an inducible manner.


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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.